Deltarune


#1

As a community we’re all adjacent to Fangamer and the dealings of people that are near and dear to them, so I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few of our fine members don’t have words to say about Toby Fox’s new Deltarune demo. What did you all think of it? The characters, the music, the world, and the plot - any part of it?

I personally don’t really know where to start with it, it’s something I’ve been thinking about every few hours or so ever since I experienced it. The music has stuck with me in particular. It’s such a delightful experience except when it’s spooky. So anything you guys want to say?


#2

One thing that stuck with me was the theme that you have no real choices.

S P O I L E R S   B E L O W !

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It starts right away: the character creation lets you choose your head and torso, but the different leg options are all identical. You have the illusion of a choice, but it doesn’t matter in the least. This is further driven home at the end of the creation process when the game throws everything away and tells you that you don’t get to choose who you are.

Very near the beginning you are told to choose a partner for your school project, but you end up with Susie no matter what. Susie practically embodies this theme: first, you have to follow her through the school. She won’t let you wander and explore, you are forced to follow her. Then, several times throughout the game she will ask you a question and present a prompt to choose your response. But, every time, she interrupts before you can answer and tells you that it doesn’t matter.

Interestingly, Susie’s character arc seems to be learning to subvert this theme; her choices are major drivers of the game’s events. She chooses to fight rather than ACT, ignoring Ralsei’s pleading and driving a wedge between herself and the others. She chooses to join Lancer because being a bad guy is more fun. Later, she chooses to rejoin the heroes and cooperate with them, not because of outside influences, but because she realizes she cares what happens to her friends.

S P E C U L A T I O N !

I haven’t done a kill-everything run yet, but I suspect that the stinger with Kris removing their heart will be the same no matter what you do. If I’m right, this plays into the “you have no choice” theme as well: no matter how you progress through the game, the end is the same.


#3

GENOCIDE SPOILERS
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I actually did end up playing a genocide run, and I was semi-surprised with the outcome. Firstly, you can’t actually kill anyone. When an enemies health drops to zero, they just flee and you still get 0 exp. Other than that literally everything is the same, even the dialogue that makes reference to you sparing people or being nice, EXCEPT that the way you win the battle with the king is different. Instead of all of the citizens coming to save you, Susie casts pacify on the king and then Lancer comes by and tells you that all the citizens are storming the castle and are furious at you for attacking them. I’m not sure what that means - maybe Toby is hinting that your choices really do matter? Or maybe it’s just something he threw in so the game would feel better?

I personally hope it’s the former because I really liked the choice system in Undertale and find it odd that in Deltarune you still have the choice to attack but it doesn’t really affect much. Also “nothing you do matters” is kind of a depressing message :(. But honestly either way I’m sure I’ll still thoroughly enjoy the full game!


#4

I really like the new characters, Susie in particular. It’s the little stuff like when she asks Kris to take the lead, and then she’s all “OH MY GOD you walk too slow i’m leaving you behind”. She reminds me of some friends I had growing up, haha. And I’m intrigued that Kris is wearing Chara’s shirt colors in the beginning. That was probably done on purpose, but I dunno what it means. Toby has said that DELTARUNE is in a different world from UNDERTALE, so… I dunno.

Also, I definitely get a strong feeling that our choices will matter in the end. That’s the kind of thing cool game devs do - they lie, lol. But if it’s true, and if our choices don’t matter, that will probably tie into a larger theme that’s yet to be revealed.


#5

Oh man, speaking of new characters, Ralsei is SO GODDAMN CUTE. I really hope they release a Ralsei plush at some point, lol.


#6

Yes. Yes. Must have a fluffy boy.
Fluffboi über alles.


#7

So some specific reactions to what everyone said here so I can unpack a bit more of my own feelings.

Regarding the theme of that one’s choices don’t matter, it’s very much a contrast to Undertale and how even the littlest things can change how things go. A single death ruins everything, after all. I definitely think it’s a deliberate theme, but I also don’t think it will be entirely truthful. I don’t distrust Toby’s words that there will be One Ending, and even if that’s the case it doesn’t mean things won’t affect other parts of the world.

Regarding Susie, she is definitely a great avatar for certain kinds of game players. People who are sick of reading dialogue, people who want to mash A and kill everything and move on. Her development was a teeny bit hamfisted in the later portions, I wanted her to more or less stay herself without making it obvious that she’s learned something from the journey. But overall she was done quite well.

Regarding the final ending, it is indeed the same no matter what you do, reinforcing the prior theme. The red heart represents us, and Kris for whatever reason does not seem to want us to control them. The cage is also worn and beaten if you check it before the ending, indicating that this kind of thing has happened before, which raises plenty of questions.

Regarding the Dark World’s own ending, I would say that the entire first chapter and game within the context of the Dark World is basically an Undertale microcosm. You get characters that draw directly on the influences of others, particularly Lancer feeling like Sans and Papyrus put together. And that’s probably why that version of the ending varies depending on whether you’ve beaten up anyone before then or not. Even letting Susie accidentally fight one person will turn the ending into that “rushed” version. However, interestingly, whether you endure the King’s attacks or fight back doesn’t matter in and of itself.

Regarding its connection to Undertale, I would say that it’s simply one of the many different timelines that exist in the grand scheme of things. I’m not sure what makes things different this time - monsters living alongside humans more readily, and on the surface with civilization as well. I’m sure this is something that would be explored more, but right now it leaves plenty of strange questions yet to be answered. There’s a lot I wish I knew, and I would love to just sit down and read Toby’s story outline even if the game at large isn’t finished ever… but I have faith that he will find a way to make it happen.

Regarding Ralsei… yep, he’s the best, and there’s still plenty of mystery surrounding him actually being Asriel - does that mean that Darkeners are monsters, or is he just an exception? I think the lyrics of the song at the end are Asriel assuring Kris that even though he might be far away and distant in the real world, he’ll always be with him “in the dark”, that is to say the Dark World.

Whew that was a lot of words! Sorry! I’m glad to get it out of my system though.


#8

I’m not familiar enough with Undertale’s story and lore to say for certain, but is it possible that Delta Rune takes place long after the events of the first game? We don’t really know how Monsters age (AFAIK), so maybe Asriel is 400-something years old and that’s just when they go to college.

Regardless of that, I’d like to know where Kris came from. He’s the only human we see in the new game, and he certainly didn’t fall down a hole like Frisk did. Perhaps this is an alternate continuity and the Human/Monster split went the other way around. Maybe the humans live underground? Maybe they’ve gone extinct?

This just occurred to me: do we know for certain that Kris is human? I know at one point his description in the status menu is something like “A vessel for a Human SOUL.” We know from Undertale that Monsters can take a human soul. Maybe Kris is a robot of some kind, or a very human-like Monster.

This is all speculation, of course.


#9

It’s definitely not in the same timeline; you can ask Undyne about Alphys and she says she’s never heard of her. Plus it would be weird for Sans to only just now be moving into the same town, and for Asriel to be back. But I’m kind of wondering if there will be some sort of connection between the two games (aside from having the same characters, of course)? It would certainly fit given how meta Undertale’s story was. Someone pointed out that the theme that plays when you start up the game (during the survey) has bits of (what people assume is) Gaster’s theme, and there’s some sort of weird easter egg (literally) involving an unseen man who could be Gaster??? No clue if those mean anything.

Yeah, I noticed that as well. I’m curious whether it was intentional, or just that Toby happened to create a similar story. It seems pretty unlikely to me that it’s unintentional, but I can’t figure out what it would mean for it to be intentional.

On an entirely different note: Ralsei is an anagram of Asriel, Kris is an anagram of Frisk without the K, but I can’t figure out what 'Rouxls Kaard" is an anagram of. I feel like it must be some anagram or reference because it’s such a strange and oddly spelled name.


#10

Right? I’ve even wondered if it’s just nonsense made to look like an anagram to mess with us.
I can’t seem to make anything meaningful:

ROUXLS  KAARD
DARK AS LUXOR
DARK LUX SOAR
DLUX SKA ROAR
DORA SUX KOLA
LORD SAKURA X

:man_shrugging:


#11

Rouxls Kaard isn’t an anagram, it’s simply a very pretentious way of spelling “Rules Card”.

As for Gaster connections, they’re definitely a bit more visible in this game than in Undertale, but at the same time there’s still too little to draw any meaningful conclusions from. People definitely focus on the metaplot a lot when there’s a perfectly good normal story there to be explored.